Media Player (Dvico 3100) + Netgear WGT634U = Cheap Wifi Media Player

This year, for my birthday I have a very nice Media Player M3100. This stuff is really usefull, no need to use a noisy computer to watch recorded Divx. It’s pretty kool to watch films from beds you know..

The only issue: I need to take it back to my computer when I want to upload a new film, that’s it .. When I first received this gift, I went back to the shop to exchange it against a networked one. But 1) they cost a lot more money, 2) not available at the shop. (even if it’s a really big one).

Last week, somebody sent me a mail. He found some cheap wireless access point with a USB port: Netgear WGT634U. (50Euro) Hum, ok let’s give it a try. First test, plug a Media Player to this USB port… ok It’s working fine. But you know, I don’t have a network cable near my bed, so I decided to transform the Access Point in a Wireless client. By this way, I can simply plug the Media Player on the WGT634U and remotely put some Divx via FTP, without any wire.

Step 1 / Install OpenWRT

The default firmware on the WGT634 doesn’t support wireless client mode (It’s a AP). So I switched it to OpenWRT Kamikaze. I build the firmware from source, but the kamikaze snapshot shoud work too. I followed the OpenWRT guide step by step with a external serial plug. You can find the complete howto for the serial connection here

# hit Ctrl-C on the bootloader
CFE> ifconfig eth0 -auto
CFE> flash -noheader tftp_host:openwrt-wgt634u.bin flash0.os
CFE> reboot

The first boot is a bit long, but all is fine…

Step 2 / Install tools

Here the short list of needed tools:

  • kmod-usb2
  • kmod-usb-storage
  • kmod-vfat
  • kmod-nls-base, kmod-nls-cp437, kmod-nls-iso8859-1
  • pure-ftpd

with a simple ipkg install via the serial console

Step 3 / Configure OpenWRT in wireless client

This is really simple in kamikaze, only change some files:

The wireless config file need to be tweaked, as I want it to join my MyDummySSID network


config wifi-iface
option device   wifi0
option network  lan
option mode     sta
option ssid     MyDummySSID
option hidden   0
option encryption none

Let’s go for the network config: MyDummySSID Access Point is, gateway in 3.1 and local DNS server is 1.254


#### LAN configuration
config interface lan
option type     bridge
option ifname   "eth0.0"
option proto    'static'
option ipaddr   ''
option netmask  ''
option gateway  ''
option dns      ''

First test: ifdown wan (switch off network) / ifdown br-lan / ifup br-lan

Step 4 / Firewall

Ok that’s fine, but I want to restrict the access to my local network only.. so I need to hack the firewall a little to avoid remote access from other wireless clients (my wireless network is open you know..). Simply linked this little script in /etc/rc.d/



# clear all firewall rules
for T in filter nat mangle ; do
iptables -t $T -F
iptables -t $T -X

# drop incomming packet
iptables -P OUTPUT  ACCEPT
iptables -P INPUT   DROP

# accept traffic on localhost
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -i lo -j ACCEPT

# accept ftp only from my home network
iptables -A INPUT -s -p tcp -i br-lan --dport 21 -j ACCEPT

# accept incoming http / ssh
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT

# finaly accept already open Cnx
iptables -A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

Step 5 / Misc

After some tests, I discover that I need a way to know if the WGT634U managed to join the wireless network or no. So I added this little script, that check for the wireless BSSID, and turn the power led in yellow if something goes wrong .. this is really usefull in fact.



while true
STATE=$(iwconfig ath0 |grep  00:13:13:53:DA:D1 | wc -l)
[ $STATE -eq 1 ] && echo 0 > /proc/diag/led/power
[ $STATE -eq 0 ] && echo 1 > /proc/diag/led/power
sleep 20


Step 6 / Finally

Here the result:

The finished product (grrr) works really fine and managed to achieve something like 850Ko/sec, I mean full speed ;) (11Mbs network) I need to remove the serial port right now, and close the box..

Important update

I read on Engadget that I use this to stream video to my TV, (like the Apple TV do), but this is absolutely wrong. This media player has a 320Go hard-drive. Why would stream film on this ? I just put it on that’s it :)

This is really amazing how people doesn’t read the article to see what I’ve done. It’s not the first time this happen in fact.

Here in France, most advanded users have some network TV from a long time, and this little boxes can play network stream (like the Apple TV) for a long time now. Beside you don’t pay for this service (rent for the boxes are included in DSL bill), the only issue is that you must have another computer to stream.

I guess nobody here (in France) would by a Apple TV, since we already have this kind of products for free for a long time. Look at a Freebox for example.

It’s time to watch a film :)

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21 thoughts on “Media Player (Dvico 3100) + Netgear WGT634U = Cheap Wifi Media Player

  1. You can replace them with a A/B/G card (examples are listed on the DD-WRT page you linked) to increase speed. You’d need one on your router as well–I sugguest getting a WRT54G v2 from ebay or someplace. It really is a good router. But the new v5′s suck bigtime.

  2. The WGT634U is a 54G AP, but my current network setup is 11Mb, mainly due to the fact that some neighboors use it with bad antenna..

  3. Can this mod also be adapted for say an Xbox 360?

    Is the USB port the only port that has the potential to be a "wireless client port"? Or are the RJ-45 ports also available to be wireless client ports?

  4. In this config the wireless port and the RJ45 one are bridged, and the WAN is looking for a DHCP server.

    1. solution use the bridge, by this way other clients will be on the same network.
    2. solution fix a IP on the wan port (/etc/config/networking) and add a simply on the firewall to do some masquerading.

    Hope this helps ;)

  5. You could’ve just gotten an xbox for $100, installed xbmc on it, and then gotten a fonera for free and hack it to act as a wireless bridge. And add a larger hard drive if needed.

    Well, I guess maybe you can’t get the fonera for free in France but that doesn’t change the fact that the hack isn’t that remarkable.

    Here in the US, there have been many (wireless) media players for years. I hope you’re not saying you think France leads in that aspect lol, I’ve lived there. Most importantly, Apple TV is for HDTVs and plays h264. Your 3100 doesn’t do that, and neither does the freebox. Maybe catch up with HDTV penetration in your country before bragging about how technologically advanced you think you are.

    Link to show how few people in Europe have HDTV as compared to the US:

  6. Actually the freebox the author is talking about is HD capabale : Up to 1080p, iirc. Stream your own content, or jus rent HD movies from the freebox’s dsl VOD server work fine. I doubt it’s widely used, though, because as you pointed, there’s way less HD TVs in France than in the US.

  7. Thanks for the info. I was referring mostly to h264 content but I didn’t expect those freeboxes to handle HD at all. I think the 3100 has component output but I’ve read that it can’t handle HD files. XBMC can handle 720p xvids but nothing higher.

  8. The main issue with xbox, is the flacky fan. The 3100 doesn’t make noise, is easy to use , and have a really big disk. That’s it.

    For the HD, I don’t know and I don’t care. I mean FreeBox or NeufBox or xxxBox are HD ready, and guess what I can plug the USB drive on the Box, record (or store) films on this drive and replay in HD throught the Box so ;)

    For the Fonera, yes I own a little stock of this free router perhaps I will use this the next time.

    About the lead, you can check a recent study made by the Herald Tribune about technology used around the world. And you will see that beside what you think, France have been in the head for some years right now, in products like VOIP, DSL. (First place is Danemark if I remember) To be clear, I mean in "used technology" not technology that ‘re so expensive that nobody can buy or other .. The finest example is that Free give to there clients a VOIP access for free (no-charge) since 5 years.

    Bye Bye

  9. To fix new errors on Engadget:

    Here the 3100 are sold with the harddrive in, and cost 100 Euros more than the drive price. Yes, I get this as a gift, so it only cost me 50 Euros for the AP. And I actually own a streaming Box (that support HD) which come for free with my DSL provider.

    As said before this is a hack, with part found on the desk. I never said this is the ultimate product, I just said this is my way to fix my issue.

  10. It’s clever what you’ve done and does make sense if the TV is far away from a computer. I have the same sort of setup but with an XBOX. I have to say that because of XBMC the fan is quiet unlike what you said. I’ve had the xbox for 2 years now. I think I’ll be doing more reading about the M-4000P though! :)

  11. Please link to the article in the herald tribune before citing it. I’ve lived in France, I know what it’s like there. I also worked in the tech sector, where we (the French company I worked for) basically copied what was going on in the US. Where do you think "Triple Play" was coined from? On the other hand, you’ve probably never lived/worked in the US so you really have no basis for comparison. You didn’t even understand that Apple TV was only for HDTVs.

    As for HDTVs, which are so advanced for you that nobody can afford them, people DO OWN them here. That’s what penetration means, people actually have them and use them. They’re not that expensive here. Again, you’re just displaying your ignorance. You have no idea what goes on here and yet you have it all figured out heh? And let’s not start restricting the technology in discussion just so you can say you have ‘the lead’ lol. Who’s talking about voip?

    And those boxes aren’t free, you have to get ADSL service from a telecom company if I’m not mistaken?

    Considering your situation it’s a nice USB hack you did but just try to be a bit more open minded, that’s all.

  12. Oh, and voip blew up when Cisco and Nortel (Canadian) started to make switches for them and ADSL was develeoped in the US. I wouldn’t use them as arguments to say that France has the lead in technology.

  13. I won’t spend a minute to recall the post in HT. If you don’t want to believe me, that’s just your issue. You’re right I never went to US, and that’s certainly the main reason for my ignorance. Thank you for pointing it.

    Quick note about Apple TV, and that will be the last time. I clearly don’t know what it is, and I really don’t care cause I don’t need one right now. Why should I buy (or even look) for a stuff that my boxes already do (remind 1080p) ? Re-read the post, that’s exactly what I say. I know that Engadget wrote some stuff, that aren’t related to my post, but I can’t do anything about that. They ‘re trying to get a lot of hits with articles even if most of there readers won’t even understand it (as they just read the title + quick look at the photo), but yes this readers will be the first to blame you. And worst, I really believe that Engadget staff doesn’t really understand what I’ve done.

    For the boxes you need to pay for the full-stuff, but if you want slow DSL + VOIP, it’s free. But once again, I don’t know why you’re asking cause you know this is surely "most used" in US.

  14. nice hack… a little complicated for me, but still nice lol

    and btw, u guys gotta chill out… jeeeez

  15. (Don’t take this as flaming.) I actually do think they understand what you did. They even say you did a good thing given your specific situation. The only word they used that was wrong is ‘streaming,’ which is not a big deal, it doesn’t take away from what you did. You obviously took offense to them saying you should’ve just gotten an Apple TV (they were just joking really) just like I found it funny how you tried to paint France as some technological mecca. Maybe you found it condescending in some way and got defensive, I don’t know.

    I just find it unfortunate to see such nationalism in technology (or anywhere for that matter), let’s just leave it at that. BTW, I’m not American, just trying to be objective.

  16. I think you might be exaggerating just a tad, “technological mecca” ffs. All he said was that similar devices already exist for free in France. For 50 quid he got what he wanted, didn’t have to void the warranty on his media player, and evidently had some fun doing it, end of story (nice job Jkx btw). <SlightlyOffTopicRant>Personally I’m fed up with all the hype about every mundane new device that comes out (I hate the Mac ads in particular though, what, you use a PC? Wow, how does it feel to never get laid etc). Hacking something together like this is far more rewarding than buying the latest gadget which, only if you’re lucky, will have at least one button on it</SlightlyOffTopicRant>

  17. Mec, t’as gere grave ;)

    Dis moi, quelle est la configuration serie que tu as pose sur ton openwrt pour utiliser le port ttyS0 de ton WGT? (par ailleusr pkoi n’as tu pas utilise le ttyS1 qui est sur juste a gauche du ttyS0?

    Merci d’avance :)

  18. Hum, I used ttyS0 cause, I’m sure it exist. I mean on some hardware, you only have a ttyS0 but not ttyS1 (linksys do that)..

    The settings: 115200 8N1

    Hope this helps :)

  19. Can this NETGEAR WGT634U have multiple hard drives pluged into a usb hub and detect all drives on it? I have the xbmc and right now im hooked up to my tv HDTV 1080i and watch movies on my internal 250gig but its full now and I’m looking on getting a nas but they are pricey and if I can use this and just plug in all my usb hard drives with my movies on them and stream them over my xbox to the tv that would rock, Is it possible? I have a 4port usb hub I was thinking of attaching to it?  Thanks Rob

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